It's no secret that I am a big fan of Marvel. Don't get me wrong, I love DC as well, I was just raised loving Spider-Man and the X-Men more than Superman and Batman. As Spider-Man took an unfortunate turn with Spider-Man 3 and X-Men lost my interest after X-Men: The Last Stand, I turned my attention towards the up-and-coming heroes like Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
When I heard that a movie called Thor was coming out, and that it was the next Marvel movie, I was interested. I had never heard of this Thor character before, but the trailers intrigued me, so I went to see it. As soon as I saw the god of thunder hurl Mjolnir at the frost giants at the beginning of the film, Thor became one of my all-time favorites. Even so, there was another character to catch my eye in the film.
In the beginning battle on Jotunheim, I watched the character named Loki (played brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston) make illusions of himself in order to fool the frost giants. I instantly thought to myself "Hmmm, that would be a cool power to have". As the story continued, I became fascinated with the way Loki was able to manipulate the people around him. While Thor could find off endless hordes of foes with his strength and his trusty hammer, Loki's brain was unmatched.
By the end of the movie he had claimed the throne of Asgard, with everyone still perceiving him as one of the good guys. Once Thor finally learned of his actions in securing the throne, he returned from Earth to stop his trickster brother. Even though Thor's skills in battle were legendary, Loki was able to hold his own. When Loki fell into open space, I was assured that he hadn't really died.
The next year, [The Avengers](movie:9040) came out. Everybody was clamoring about how unforgettable the movie would be, and everybody was so excited that the heroes from multiple other movies would be congregating for a colossal battle. I cared little for these heroes, as I learned that Loki would be returning as the film's major antagonist.
Once I finally sat in the audience, I was in awe at the performance. I loved Loki, though he received little screen-time, and I was satisfied that he remained alive at the end. I actually felt sympathy for the character after he lost the battle of New York. He had found out that he was an orphan, an outsider from Asgardian society, and he had to live his whole life in the shadow of his more-impressive brother. He had only wanted to rule, but the throne of Asgard and all of Earth were taken from him.
When [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462) rolled around, I went to the earliest screening that I could. I went into the theater with so many questions. "What's going to happen to him? Will he be able to escape? Will he be a hero or a villain?" The film answered all of those questions and then some.
When Loki teamed up with Thor, I was sure that there could not be anything better on this Earth. Two of my favorite characters fighting side-by-side against the forces of evil. When Loki betrayed Thor in the dark realm and cut off his hand, I thought "Oooh, that was clever!" When he proved his previous actions to be a ploy as he helped Thor attack Malekith, I thought "Oooh, that was even more clever!" And when Loki was impaled by Kurse, I was crushed.
This character that I had loved, that I had admired, had just been struck down by a second-hand villain while he was trying to protect his brother. As the finale commenced, I paid little attention to the Convergence, or the Aether. I was still mortified at Loki's death. It was too soon, it wasn't right, he still had so much potential!
And then that moment. Oh, that moment. At the end of Thor: The Dark World, when Malekith was defeated, the Aether was obtained, and all was well with the worlds, Loki was revealed to still be alive, and not only that. He had once again claimed the throne of Asgard, posing as Odin.
That may be my favorite cinematic moment of all time. He had fooled me and the audience once again, and he had manipulated everyone around him into reaching his ultimate end-goal. Thor no longer wanted to be king, Odin was who-knows-where, and Loki reigned unopposed. If that doesn't make him the greatest villain of all time, I don't know what does. But that isn't what this article is about. This is why he is better than Captain America, better than Iron Man, better than Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and basically everything that Kevin Feige, James Gunn, and Joss Whedon have to throw at us.
Loki Is Incredibly Smart
The S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier had both Tony Stark and Bruce Banner on-board. Two of the biggest minds in the Marvel Cinematic Universe both collaborating to find a way to bring Loki down and find the Tesseract. Loki, working as a Trojan horse, was able to engineer a master plan that fooled Stark and Banner both. He escaped from one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most secure prisons and turned the superheroes against each other long enough to start up the portal to bring in the Chitauri army.
Even after he is defeated in New York (I'm still a firm believer that he let himself be defeated) he is brought back in thrown in yet another prison. He ends up free yet again, so that he could fight alongside Thor. During the battle in the dark world, Loki made an illusion of himself to get killed in front of Thor, so that he would be thought dead by all of Asgard. This way, he was able to trick himself into one of the most powerful positions in the nine realms!
Loki Is Hilarious
Marvel movies wouldn't be complete without a good dosage of humorous content, and in Thor: The Dark World, Loki supplies much of that humor. For example, take the scene when Thor and Loki are walking down a corridor and Loki is shape-shifting into various characters. If you didn't laugh at least a little when he turned himself into Captain America and strutted about with is shield in hand, I'm sorry but you may not have a sense of humor.
Loki has some incredible dialogue in the scene where Thor and Loki are flying out of Asgard, from "You missed a column," to "Good job Thor, you just decapitated your grand-father," Loki had my chest hurting from stifling laughter for so long.
Loki Knows Magic
Iron Man has a suit, Captain America has his super-soldier serum, the Hulk has well, his Hulk-ishness, but Loki actually knows magic. Despite having enhanced strength and durability from his Jotun genetics, he was trained in the mystic arts by his foster-mother, Frigga.
Remember when Thor said "You may have had her tricks but I had her trust"? "Her tricks" were the magic abilities that she imparted. Loki's shape-shifting and illusions are just a taste of his abilities. When he learns of Frigga's death, he clenches his hands into fists and emits a pulse of energy that throws furniture about. If that's what he can do by clenching his fists, his magical prowess has yet to reveal its true capacity.
Loki Shows Emotion
Unlike many other villains in the MCU, including favorites like Red Skull and Iron Monger, Loki shows himself to be more than an emotionless mass of evil. When Frigga dies in Thor: The Dark World, he is visually devastated. When he dismisses his illusions in Thor's presence, we see him emotionally distraught amongst a cell of chaos.
Frigga was the one member of his family that he truly loved. He resented Thor, who was always getting all of the love and attention, and Odin openly revealed that he only kept Loki around as a possible political tie to Jotunheim. Frigga honestly loved him, and he loved her back. This makes Loki more relatable than other characters, because we have all lost people, and we all know what he was going through.
Loki Assembled The Avengers
Many of you may have heard this before, but intentional or not, Loki actually built the Avengers. One of the saddest moments in The Avengers is when Loki stabs Agent Coulson, killing him until he is revived in Marvel's [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) If Loki had not killed Coulson, there never would have been a need for the Avengers to avenge anything. Cap and Iron Man would have kept on arguing and Loki would have succeeded with his Chitauri invasion.
If the Avengers never were assembled, super-villains would triumph and the world would be left in ruin. Ergo, Loki saved the world by assembling the Avengers and giving Earth a fighting chance.
But that's just something to think about.